All posts tagged: abraham and ishmael in the Bible

God Loves Outcasts

A lot of movies and TV shows have been made about outcasts. To many, outcasts are peculiar and hold the same morbid fascination as freak shows or perhaps car accidents and disasters. You know they are there, but they just don’t affect your life. The Bible is full of stories about outcasts. Some rose to great heights, even becoming kings. Esther saved an entire nation. David is the most revered king in Israel’s history. Joseph ruled Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Others are mentioned briefly. Like the blind men healed by Jesus or the lepers healed, and we are not told what happened to them. But there is one outcast story in the Old Testament that touches me deeply. This story parallels the stories of many people pushed aside and forgotten except for crime or poverty statistics. The story of Ishmael is the story of the ultimate outcast and begins with Abraham. In Genesis 15, God makes a covenant with Abraham who was distraught that he had no children as heirs. God tells him to …

The Mespotamia Valley where Abraham and Sarah lived before God called them on their journey of faith: Credit: Hassan Janall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikipedia

Faith through doubt: 4,000 year old marriage contract confirms story of Ishmael

Español: La fe a través de la duda: contrato de matrimonio de 4.000 años de antigüedad confirma la historia de Ismael Though the patriarch Abraham and wife Sarah ended up in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ (Hebrews 11:8-11), their lives were far from a perfect display of faith. God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son out of which would come a great nation (Genesis 17). Though they clung to this promise, there were times when they doubted God and took matters into their own hands. One of these moments involved Hagar, Sarah’s personal maid: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16: 1-2 NASV) Sarah told Abraham to impregnate her slave who would serve as a surrogate and have a child that Sarah would …